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This year’s Evolution Championship Tournament boasts a number of cool finishes, upsets, and surprise moments. If you’re a fighting game fan, you should know that these moments will echo in the annals of FGC history worldwide.
Full disclosure: I recently got into BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle, which is possibly the second game that will replace the Marvel vs Capcom series in the “tag team fighting game” void. It’s currently filled up by Dragon Ball FighterZ, but BBCTB comes in a close second. Naturally, I was hyped up for Arc System Works’ recent efforts.
It’s also cool that there are other fighting games to care about next to Street Fighter V. Many of us veterans are still bummed out that SFV is nowhere near as integral and deep as Street Fighter IV, but at least the top players are still making the game look good with their winning plays and clutches. Begrudgingly so since they’re doing it for the obvious Capcom Pro Tour pot and to meet up with FGC veterans, but it’s better than nothing.
That’s not to say that there aren’t any merits to Street Fighter V’s EVO run this year; far from it. We should be thankful variety is the keyword for this year’s EVO.
So what were the best bits of this year? Read on and find out, dear readers. We’ll recap our favourite bits.
The Earlier Fights Leading Up To The Last Day
Daigo getting kicked out in a mirror match. Xian getting kicked out, first by a persistent Fuudo and then by a crazy Cool Kid 93 Abigail play. Last year’s SFV runner-up Punk getting kicked out early. Street Fighter V has seen its fair shares of upsets, and this one is no exception. While not as drastic as the game’s killers getting knocked out too early before the top 32 bout, it’s still noteworthy.
BlazBlue CTB Finals
Even if this took place a day before the main top 8 fights, that fact does not take away the prestige and hype of the BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle fight in EVO 2018. With crazy plays from Kazunoko and the persistence of KojiKOG, not to mention the Grand Finals between Japan’s Heiho and US’s Fame96 that screams future rivalry on a worldwide scale, we’ll definitely see more top tier play from BBCTB in the near future.
And I’ll be maining Ruby and Gordeau after this.
1. Heiho (Ruby, Gordeau)
2. PAG|Fame96 (Yu, Jin)
3. BE|DoraBang (Hazama, ν -No.13-)
4. KojiKOG (Tager, Waldstein)
5. GGP|Kazunoko (Ruby, Gordeau)
5. CO|Fenrich (Jin, Hyde)
7. Gouda (Gordeau, ν -No.13-)
7. DettyWhiteRock (Yang, Waldstein)
Love Blooms On The Battlefield
Tayson Defas gets a kiss from his lover Sol (a BlazBlue and SFV competitor) just before a Marvel vs Capcom Infinite finals fight. Not sure how that will fly with the already-controversial internet FGC groups, but it’s nice to know that love is all around us regardless of shape & form.
Marvel’s Still Not Dead
Despite the exclusion of MvCI on the main stage due to “low attendance rate”, the community is still supporting the supposedly dead game. This Kotaku report is worth sharing, seeing as this tournament is being run like a true side game, right down to the “standing only” finals in a corner somewhere.
Here’s an excerpt.
During the final match of the Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite competition, fans rallied in support of Hector “Macho” Cajigas, hoping to to spur the Chicago competitor to victory against CyberJapanAgent. At one point, attendees even raised their hands as a mock Spirit Bomb, but the foreign player easily dispatched his grand finals opponent. In so doing, CyberJapanAgent made history by becoming the first Japanese player to win a Marvel vs. Capcom game at Evo. His victory, while incredible, was marred by scheduling issues that pushed the Infinite finals back by three hours.
“I knew we were going to face a lot of challenges,” organizer Armando “Angelic” Mejia told me afterwards. “They told us we had to be ready by 7 PM, and we absolutely killed it. We busted our asses to get done as quickly as possible. We didn’t want anything to be [held up] on our end. The matches were great, the players were great. Everyone came through and it was a great time.”
Oh and here are the results in case you’re curious:
1. CJA|Cyber (Dante, Dormammu)
2. MG|Macho (Dante, Dormammu)
3. TLT|Tayson (Gamora, Ultron)
4. TPC|NotEnoughDamage (Ultron, Dr. Strange)
5. NB|DualKevin (Hawkeye, Dante)
5. NoelBHungry (Gamora, Rocket Raccoon)
7. Taekua (Ghost Rider, Nova)
7. Stealth (Zero, Dante)
ArcRevo World Tour 2018-2019 Announced
Speaking of which, Arc System Works just revealed its upcoming pro tournament league called the ArcRevo World Tour which will feature games such as BlazBlue Central Fiction, Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator 2, and BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle. The tournament will take place all over from North America to even Southeast Asia (via South East Asia Major 2018). The finals for this circuit will take place in Fall 2019 in North America.
Did we forget to mention that you can win over US$100,000 in cash prizes? That’s quite an incentive for you to practice the heck out of these anime fighters.
The Soul Still Burns
Just before the Tekken 7 finals, we get to see new character reveals for Soul Calibur 6. Well, “new” is a relative term because we’ve seen Seung Mina and Astaroth in past SC games. Still, seeing them in the new SC6 engine is nice. October can’t come soon enough.
Tekken 7 Grand Finals
Yes, we know the South Koreans are going to take the top two spot. But what surprised us was a US player placing pretty high in a major EVO tournament. American player Lil Majin really gave his all; he was in third place using King, a grappler you don’t see often in a sea of Dragunovs & Jack-6s. I’m also happy to see a Panda user placing pretty high in this year’s Tekken 7 extravaganza.[twitch https://clips.twitch.tv/DifficultTastyRadishLitty]
1. Fursan|LowHigh (Shaheen, Bryan, Kazuya)
2. UYU|Qudans (Devil Jin)
3. ITS|Lil Majin (King)
4. FOX|JDCR (Dragunov)
5. Fursan|Rangchu (Panda)
5. AR|Book (Jin)
7. COOASGAMES|Noroma (JACK-7, Dragunov)
7. AMD|Chirichiri (Shaheen)
Negan From Walking Dead Joins Tekken 7… And Some Other Veterans
Anna and Lei Wulong will be in the game; they’re both fan favourites in the series, one being the sister of Nina Williams and the other a lax and goofy drunken kung fu expert detective. But you know what? We’re getting Negan from the Walking Dead, which means fighting game esports sites can post about The Walking Dead for that sweet traffic in the future even though they’re not a pop culture site.
You can get all that with the Season 2 Pass. Essentially this is Street Fighter V all over again, even down to a new version of the game with balance changes and new mechanics.
A Pretty Bizarre Way To Cap Off Smash Bros Wii U
I don’t play Super Smash Bros Wii U and even I know how broken Bayonetta can be. But this? The fact that both players were just dicking around more than fighting (at least from where I’m watching) and that whole standoff with the charge at 15:00 is pretty ballsy on their part.
A Little Bit Of Smash Bros Melee For You
Whatever that stunk up Super Smash Bros Wii U was quickly eradicated when it came to this grand finals between Leffen and Armada.
1. TSM|Leffen (Fox)
2. Alliance|Armada (Peach, Fox)
3. PG|Plup (Sheik)
4. Liquid|Hungrybox (Jigglypuff)
5. C9|Mango (Falco)
5. Wizzrobe (Captain Falcon)
7. OG|Swedish Delight (Sheik)
7. Tempo|S2J (Captain Falcon)
An American Furry Wins Dragon Ball FighterZ
You knew it was going to happen. The EVO 2018 DBFZ tournament was boiled down to two pro gamers: SonicFox and Go1. Either one was going to take home the gold, despite us wanting guys like Kazunoko winning it. Still, having SonicFox winning a game everyone is playing -instead of with titles like Injustice 2 and MKX- must have been refreshing for the young player.
1. FOX|SonicFox (Bardock, Fused Zamasu, Android 16)
2. CO|Go1 (Cell, Bardock, Vegeta)
3. CO|Fenrich (Cell, Bardock, Vegeta)
4. Ponos|Moke (Kid Buu, Cell, Trunks)
5. GGP|Kazunoko (Kid Buu, Adult Gohan, Yamcha)
5. W2W|KnowKami (Android 21, Cell, Goku Black | Cell, Fused Zamasu, Kid Buu)
7. NRG|Supernoon (Kid Buu, Cell, Vegeta)
7. Yoshimoto|Kubo (Adult Gohan, Android 16, Goku)
Cooler Will Be In DBFZ
We’ve already known this for a long while since the data mine, but it’s nice to have this finally confirmed. Frieza’s older brother Cooler will be a playable character in DBFZ, and he’ll retain his Shredder-esque look.
Some Guy Cosplays As G To Hype Up Street Fighter V DLC
Yes, it’s kinda cringeworthy. Yet somehow it’s awesomely bad not to watch, Southern accent and all.
Also, G and Sagat will be out tomorrow. Long story short: G’s mid-ranged moves get more powerful via a Presidentiality meter (up to Level 3). He also has a V-Skill barrier that can solve some anti-air problems.
Sagat plays like his SFIV counterpart- his Angry Charge is now a V-Skill. We’ll have a separate report on these two on a later day when they’re out, so stay tuned!
Here’s something else for you to ponder:
UK Solves Street Fighter V Japan Epidemic With Problem X
The main event turned out to be spectacular, especially if you’re rooting for a longtime non-Japan player to win. Despite Luffy and crowd favourite Cool Kid 93 getting knocked out in the top 8, UK’s Problem X found the solution with his deft use of M.Bison and Abigail.
Just when you think guys like veteran Fuudo and Last year’s winner Tokido we’re going to steak first place, along comes this UK guy who’s been in the SFV scene for quite a while. It wasn’t a walk in the park: Fuudo had R.Mika mixups and corner games while Tokido is on point with his fireball and demon flip spacing game.
Luckily, Problem X persevered with high-priority mid-attacks, well-timed V-Trigger dashes to combos, and letting loose a Dictator Slide when anyone least expected it. It’s refreshing to know that UK and Europe can still play hard and well against Japan’s finest.
1. Mouz|Problem X (M. Bison, Abigail)
2. FOX|Tokido (Akuma)
3. CYG|Fuudo (R. Mika)
4. Gachikun (Rashid)
5. RB|Luffy (R. Mika)
6. FD|Fujimura (Ibuki)
7. CoolKid93 (Abigail)
8. Rise|Caba (Guile)
All The Other Odd Fighting Games On The Show Floor
The aforementioned main games (and the two other Smash Bros titles) weren’t the only ones being played during the weekend of EVO 2018.
There was a preview of SoulCalibur 6 in tournament form. There were classics like Windjammers, Under Night In Birth, Dead or Alive 5, Fighting EX Layer, KOF XIV, Super Turbo, Ultra SFIV, Melty Blood, Vampire Savior, and a couple more.
Hell, there were even tournaments for Sailor Moon S and TMNT Tournament Fighters for the SNES. Talk about old-school!
These Kids In The Rashid Getup
The master of SFV’s winds has a fan who happens to be good at breakdancing. You bet your sweet ass this will be in our obligatory highlights vid.
(top image credit: Robert Paul, EVO 2018)